Sorry John D of Longmont, Colorado and the 34,000+ other who signed the Death Star petition: the White House has responded and the answer is no.
The federal government will not be initiating a program to construct a functioning Death Star, despite the pleas of tens of thousands of Americans. They've just published an official response to the November petition that appeared on the We The People online petition site, saying that they share a desire for job creation too, but this isn't the way.
Here's the White House's reasoning:
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
The original petition asked the U.S. government to "secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016."
The response was written by Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget. It's cleverly titled "This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For."
The White House did highlight some cool space tech that we can be proud of, in lieu of a functioning Death Star.
"Even though the United States doesn't have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we've got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we're building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
We don't have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke's arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers," said Shawcross.
Last week, the White House responded to another petition, saying that they would not consider deporting British CNN host Piers Morgan for his stance on gun restrictions in the U.S.